Troubleshooting Bernina 830 Record Tension Problems

Bernina sewing machines are seen as the top of the line sewing machines. Their finely tuned precision machines that one would think are trouble-free. But even the best machines have a few difficulties.

Bernina 830 is one of the most expensive sewing machines you can buy. Yet that high price tag does not stop it from having some thread tension problems. One source of your tension problem with this top machine is that you used the wrong thread. Bernina’s are set to work with Mettler thread, not any other brand.

To get more information about troubleshooting the thread tension on a Bernina 830 just continue to read our article. It has the data and the solutions you can use to make sure your expensive 830 works smoothly all the time.

Problems With Bernina 830 Sewing Machines


When you have a little difficulty with your Bernina 830 it is always best to check the simple stuff first. These checks do not require a top or experienced repairman to handle. You should be able to check your machine out first before giving in and taking it to the repair shop.

The first item you should check when problems arise on your Bernina is the needles. If they are bent or not inserted correctly, then your machine may not work as it should.

To fix those issues, all you have to do is replace the needle or push it back up into the clamp and tighten the screw. The next item to check is the tension. We will get into that issue in a little more detail shortly but for now, there is an easy fix.

If you are using the correct thread and have threaded your 830 correctly check your tension dials. If the tension is set to high, then lower it down. If it is set too low, then you need to raise it.

Do all the simple things first then see if the machine runs properly. If it doesn’t, then your next step is a nice visit with your Bernina approved repairman.

Bernina 830 Record Tension Problems


There can be a few things that can go wrong with the threading of the Bernina 830. the first as discussed earlier, you may be using the wrong brand of thread. It seems that the Bernina sewing machines are calibrated to the Mettler thread yet that may only be a temporary problem.

Then to avoid problems with the tension, you need to make sure that before you put the thread through the needle the light needs to come on and the machine needs to stop making clicking noises.

Also, 2 thread guides have to be properly threaded or you may have a little difficulty with the thread. If you miss one, there is a possibility of the thread entering the machine.

Then, if you do not oil your Bernina that lack of lubrication may affect your thread tension. To solve this issue, just add a drop or two of Bernina oil that came with the machine after 10 to 15 bobbins have been wound.

One final issue is that your 830’s tension may be affected by the lack of cleaning your machine has experienced. Always make sure you clean your sewing machine to have it run right.

Bernina 830 Bobbin Problems


You would think that for what you pay for a Bernina sewing machine, there would be few problems to deal with. But for some reason, even Bernina produces a lemon now and then and the sewing machine breaks down a lot.

With the 830 you have a very unique bobbin system. The bobbin case does not come out. It is permanently placed inside the machine and that may result in a lot of broken thread finding its way into that compartment.

Which is why Bernina machines are calibrated to one brand of thread over another. That brand does not have a lot of lint to it. One thing to watch out for is that the bobbin case may be a bit touchy.

A slight bump and you can through the system out of whack a little bit. Lift the bobbin door carefully and gently from its place to avoid this from taking place. The bobbin needs to turn to the inside on its own before you can shut the door again.

Adjusting Bobbin Tension Bernina


One of the good aspects of Benina the company is that they usually include the tools you need to make adjustments. They also include the oil that is made for your particular sewing machine. The 830 is no different.

When you oil the 830 you should stick with the oil the company included in the package. If you don’t you may end up having a few problems. For adjusting the bobbin tension the company has included a special tool to use.

This tool fits over the bobbin case and can move it left or right to adjust the tension. To get back to normal tension setting, just line up the red dot on the bobbin case with the diagram on the door.

In other words, setting or resetting your bobbin tension will be one of the easier tasks you need to do on the Bernina 830. The good news is that you can set the bobbin tension wherever you get the best results.

You have a lot of flexibility with the Bernina 830 and that helps a lot when you are changing threads and fabrics frequently. Just remember to clean out the bobbin case regularly so the broken thread does not cause the newer thread to snap.

Benina 830 Repairs You Need to Avoid

It is tempting to think that you can handle a lot of different repairs when your Bernina sewing machine breaks down on you. But there are quite a few you should just leave to the experts.

Here are some of those repairs you should not tackle:

  • 1. Uneven button hole - Even if you are using the correct foot and technique, your buttonholes appear uneven or lopsided. Don’t try to fix this issue as there is a special tool required to handle the calibration.
  • 2. The machine doesn't run - If the light works but the motor and other parts do not run, don’t fiddle. A qualified repairman needs to look at the machine and take care of the issue. You also do not want to buy expensive parts that may not fix the actual problem.
  • 3. Motor noises - these are different sounds your machine’s motor may make when something is wrong. Those sounds are not related to a lack of oil. A skilled repairman can diagnosis the issue and fix the problem without over oiling the sewing machine.
  • 4. Big breaks - And these are not in your favor. Instead, shipping, falling or other impacts may damage important parts of the machine. For example the handwheel, the take-up lever and more. Leave these big repairs to the experience of a qualified repairman.
  • ​5. A consistent tight spot - When you are turning the handwheel with your hand and the machine slows down at the same spot on every turn and no thread is causing the problem, you are in for some bad news. Take your machine to a repairman.
  • 6. Timing - There are several causes for the timing problem. Each one may be unrelated to the other and the fixes may be the same. Only a repairman knows which adjustments need to be made. Also, the repairs needed if done wrong can do more damage to your machine. Don’t chance it.

Some Other Common Bernina Problems

Not every problem is a major repair job needing a repairman. Here are some common problems that may arise as you use your machine:

  • 1. Loose plug - Sometimes, your machine’s electrical plug is not tightly pushed into the socket. Check it out and make sure it is.
  • 2. Loose connections - a little screwdriver can solve a lot of problems for you. Check your connections and make sure all wires etc., are tight and properly connected.
  • 3. The drive and timing belt - These may be loose and need a quick tightening job to get them working as they should.
  • 4. Using old thread - this is a very common problem as some people do not like to throw old thread away. If you are using old thread, replace it with new.
  • 5. The machine won’t start - turn the machine off for 3 hours. Then turn it back on again. This should reset the machine and get it going again.

Some Final Words

Bernina sewing machines are top of the line models. Unfortunately, they are also not perfect. There will be times when something will go wrong and even the Bernina needs a repairman.

Do a simple check first and if you can’t fix the machine take it to a qualified repairman to handle the trouble.

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